This German style onion pie (German: ‘Zwiebelkuchen’) is a very tasty meal that is traditionally enjoyed in the early autumn. It’s almost like a “white” onion pizza. This recipe, using oven roasted chestnuts and sage pesto is a bit unusual, but very delicious and is now our favorite way to enjoy Ziebelkuchen.

Oven roasted chestnuts

Serving Size: 4


for the dough:

  • 1 cup Ap flour
  • 1 cup wholewheat or rye flour
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

for the sauce:

  • 1½ cups soy yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable bouillon powder
  • 5 large onions, thinly sliced
  • oil for frying
  • 12-16 chestnuts, cooked, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

for the pesto

  • 1 large bunch of sage leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of water if needed to help the blende

Onion Pie with Chestnuts and Sage Pesto


  1. Prepare the chestnuts. If the are fresh, cut an X on 1 side of the chestnut.
  2. Place in a pre-heated 390°F / 220°C oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven.
  4. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel the skin and cut into bite sized pieces.
  5. Don’t wait too long to peel the chestnuts as the shell becomes hard again as it cools.
  6. Alternatively you can buy prepared chestnuts.
  7. To make the dough: place the flour in a large mixing bowl.
  8. Add the salt and coriander powder.
  9. Fill a 1 cup measuring cup with warm water almost to the top.
  10. Add the teaspoon of sugar and the yeast.
  11. Mix and allow to sit for a minute or two until it begins to bubble.
  12. Add the yeasted water and the oil to the flower and mix to form a ball of dough.
  13. Cover with a plate or plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until it has doubled.
  14. While the dough is rising, mix the sauce.
  15. Place the soy yogurt and mustard in a small bowl.
  16. Add the vegetable bouillon powder and mix.
  17. Make the sage pesto. Place the ingredients for the sage pesto in a blender or food processor.
  18. Whiz to for the pesto.
  19. You may need to add a bit of liquid to help the blender.
  20. Thinly slice the onions.
  21. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions until they are lightly golden.
  22. Lightly flower a workspace.
  23. Place the risen dough on the flour.
  24. Gently knead the dough, sprinkling the 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder to incorporate into the dough.
  25. Two or 3 folds, kneading is enough.
  26. Roll the dough out either to form a circle as a pizza or a square to fill a rimmed baking sheet.
  27. Pre-heat the oven to 390°F / 220°C.
  28. Place a sheet of baking parchment on a rimmed baking sheet.
  29. Place the dough on the baking parchment.
  30. Spread the yogurt/mustard sauce over the top of the dough.
  31. Evenly place the cooked onions over the top of the sauce.
  32. Evenly sprinkle the chestnuts here and there.
  33. We would suggest putting the pesto on after baking as it becomes burned or too brown when cooking.
  34. Place the Zwiebelkuchen in the oven to bake for 25 minutes or until the dough is lightly brown and crispy on the edge.
  35. Once the Zwiebelkuchen is done, remove from the oven and dab the sage pesto in various places on top.
  36. Traditionally Zwiebelkuchen is enjoyed with a very early wine of the season called Federweisser. If it is not possible to find, a light dry white wine is a good alternative.